Portland, ME, United States
Portland, ME, United States

The University of Southern Maine is a multi-campus public comprehensive university and part of the University of Maine System. USM's three primary campuses are located in Portland, Gorham and Lewiston in the U.S. state of Maine. Many courses and degree programs are also offered online. Originally founded as two separate universities , the two state universities were combined in 1970 to help streamline the public university system in Maine and eventually expanded by adding the Lewiston campus in 1988. The Portland Campus is home to the Edmund Muskie School of Public Service along with the Bio science Research Institute, the University of Maine School of Law, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Osher Map Library, and the USM School of Business. The Gorham campus, much more residential, is home to the School of Education and Human Development and the School of Music.USM is among the "Best Northeastern Colleges," according to The Princeton Review's 2007 listings, and was also included in its 2007 edition of "America's Best Value Colleges." As of 2012, USM had 7,500 undergraduate students and 2,320 graduate and law school students, with an average class size of 25 and a student-faculty ratio of 15:1. Recent controversial decisions by the university administration to cut programs and fire up to 50 faculty have led to student led protests on the campus. Wikipedia.

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Increasingly, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and Product Stewardship (PS) frameworks are being adopted as a preferred policy approach to promote cost-effective diversion and recovery of post-consumer solid waste. Because the application of EPR/PS generally requires the creation of a separate and often parallel collection and/or management system, key to increasing the amount of waste recovered is to maximize the convenience of the collection system to maximize consumer participation. Convenient collection is often mandated in EPR/PS laws, however it is not defined. Convenience is a subjective construct rendering it extremely difficult to define. However, based on a dissection of post-consumer collection efforts under a generic EPR/PS system, this paper identifies and examines five categories of convenience - knowledge requirements, proximity to a collection site, opportunity to drop-off materials, the draw of the collection site, and the ease of the process-and the various factors of convenience within each of these categories. By using a simplified multiple criteria decision analysis, this paper proposes a performance matrix of criteria of convenience. Stakeholders can use this matrix to assist in the design, assessment, and/or implementation of a convenient post-consumer collection system under an EPR/PS framework. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Brown S.W.,University of Southern Maine
Acta Psychologica | Year: 2014

Previous research suggests that time perception is supported by the same attentional resources involved in sequence processing. The present experiment was designed to clarify this connection by examining the relation between timing and reasoning tasks that involved either sequencing or non-sequencing judgments. For the timing task, subjects produced a series of 5-s intervals. For the reasoning tasks, subjects judged whether pairs of statements describing common actions either (a) were presented in the correct temporal order (sequencing), or (b) described similar actions or objects (similarity). Subjects performed the timing and reasoning tasks both separately and concurrently in a series of 3-minute trials. Comparisons of single-task and dual-task performance assessed interference patterns between concurrent tasks. Both reasoning tasks interfered with timing by making temporal productions longer and more variable. Timing had differential effects on the two reasoning tasks. Concurrent timing caused sequencing judgments to become slower, less accurate, and less sensitive relative to sequencing-only conditions. In contrast, similarity judgments were either unaffected or affected to a lesser degree by the concurrent timing task. These results support the notion that timing and sequencing are closely related processes that rely on the same set of cognitive resources or mechanisms. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Scott C.B.,University of Southern Maine
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research | Year: 2011

Scott, CB. Quantifying the immediate recovery energy expenditure of resistance training. J Strength Cond Res 25(4): 1159-1163, 2011-As opposed to steady state aerobic-type exercise involving long duration, continuous, rhythmic, large muscle group activities that consume large volumes of oxygen, a resistance training set is brief, intermittent, uses multiple and isolated muscles, and is considered anaerobic in description. Because differences are evident between aerobic-and anaerobic-type exercise, it is proposed that the methods used for estimating resistance training energy expenditure should be different as compared with walking, jogging, cycling, etc. After a single set of weight lifting, for example, oxygen uptake is greater in the recovery from lifting as opposed to during the actual exercise; likewise, the anaerobic energy expenditure contribution to lifting may exceed exercise oxygen uptake. Recovery energy expenditure also does not appear well related to the anaerobic energy expenditure of the previous exercise. Based on this evidence, it is suggested that anaerobic-type exercise should not be based on aerobic-type models. In terms of excess postexercise oxygen consumption, a hypothesis is presented in regard to how non-steady-state energy expenditure in the immediate recovery from intense exercise should be properly quantified (e.g., in-between resistance training sets). The proposed concept is based on possible substrate or fuel use differences during intense exercise and aerobic recovery and the biochemistry and bioenergetics of glucose, lactate, and fat oxidation. It is proposed that immediately after a single weight lifting bout or in-between resistance training sets, as O2 uptake plummets rapidly back toward pre-exercise levels, a separate energy expenditure conversion is required for recovery that differs from non-steady-state exercise, that is, 1 L of recovery oxygen uptake = 19.6 kJ (4.7 kcal) (not the standard exercise conversion of 1 L of oxygen uptake = 21.1 kJ) (5.0 kcal). © 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Hubley T.A.,University of Southern Maine
Applied Geography | Year: 2011

The purpose of the project described in this paper was to assess and describe the food environment facing public assistance clients in a rural county in Maine. Using the concept of a " food desert" and an objective tool for rating participating food outlets, the research team developed a spatial model of client access to healthy foods. The final map shows that most rural residents are within acceptable distances of well-rated stores, though these may not be supermarkets. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 192.23K | Year: 2013

An implicit objective of most college and university programs is to develop student capacity for creativity. However, creativity itself is not typically taught or included as a topic in most undergraduate curricula or as an independent discipline. Teaching creativity is a dimension of higher education found primarily in Fine Arts and Design, and within specific areas of the Humanities, such as Creative Writing. Within STEM it is embedded in some engineering programs. This project is expanding understanding of creative thinking as a dimension of undergraduate coursework in STEM. It is creating opportunities for developing student creative thinking and increasing the effectiveness of faculty in delivering a curriculum that has been infused with exercises that reinforce creative thinking as an integral part of undergraduate STEM education at the University of Southern Maine. The major step in achieving this goal is engaging STEM faculty in workshops to introduce them to techniques for infusing creativity into courses. The principal goal is to engage faculty in STEM disciplines and to help them develop modules for incorporation into existing courses. Five day summer institutes bring together a cohort of 8 faculty members from the Departments of Applied Medical Sciences; Environmental Science; Exercise, Health and Sports Sciences; Biology; Computer Science; Mechanical Engineering, and Technology. During the workshops faculty learn strategies for how to create modules that combine creative thinking with STEM course materials. These modules will be incorporated into existing curricula. Faculty will join in a second summer institute the second year and will both develop and refine their modules and also incorporate them into one of their scheduled upper level classes for the academic year.

Intellectual Merit: Few studies for teaching creativity in the area of STEM education at the K-12 and undergraduate levels have been done. To this end, an underlying intellectual principle of the proposal is the evaluation of the impact of this approach on both faculty and students.

Broader Impacts: This project has the potential for serving as a model for incorporating creative thinking processes into education in STEM instructions.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: FED CYBER SERV: SCHLAR FOR SER | Award Amount: 300.46K | Year: 2014

The University of Southern Maine, the University of Maine at Fort Kent, and the York County Community College are collaborating in a two-year project to pilot and evaluate the feasibility of implementing an inter-institutional virtual cyber security collaborative learning laboratory. In a traditional classroom or laboratory, the student has the support of the faculty and or other students and the physical immediacy positively impacts the students? learning, decisions and outcomes. Cybersecurity virtual laboratories are shared resources that minimize the cost of replicating cybersecurity educational programs and allow students from several institutions to remotely use the hardware at the lead institution. A student working in a virtual cyber security laboratory can work as part of a group at great distances from the physical hardware and other students. This project will develop procedures and practices to fill in the gaps between virtual and physical laboratories in reliable and cost effective ways.

The research design allows for the evaluation of the feasibility of implementing the inter-institutional laboratory in five, four-hour rounds of simulations over three semesters. Evaluation research will utilize a mixed-method approach, with an emphasis on interviews, surveys, observations, and usage data to assess faculty and student attitudes toward and use of the virtual cybersecurity laboratory, and the extent of cooperation among the three institutions in the implementation of the laboratory. Quantitative analysis of student performance data will allow for preliminary assessment of the promise of the virtual laboratory for achieving the expected learning outcomes related to Protect and Defend cyber security scenarios.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: LAW AND SOCIAL SCIENCES | Award Amount: 165.48K | Year: 2014

Despite doctrine that assumes to the contrary, the structure of the modern justice system rests on the assumption that individuals can both access and deploy the kind of legal knowledge that used to be the exclusive province of legal professionals. A great deal of research focuses on methods of providing access to professional legal knowledge. Little has focused on whether and how lay individuals can deploy such knowledge in, for example, litigating small claims court cases. This project will investigate whether and how lay individuals can deploy professional legal knowledge when questions of access to knowledge are eliminated. The project is innovative in evaluating the deployment of lay legal knowledge via a field experiment, a method that can illuminate causation and that has as yet been seldom used within legal sites. The project is also methodologically innovative in integrating insights from multiple disciplines concerning cognition and action into the deployment of legal advice. The field experiment consists of two comparisons: (i) a self-help assistance packet addressing the legal aspects of household legal problems versus an offer of representation from legal professionals, and (ii) a self-help packet covering good household management practices versus telephone or in-person household management counseling. The self-help packets will be mailed directly to lay individuals to eliminate the question of whether people had access to legal knowledge. By comparing the outcomes experienced by individuals randomized to the packets versus outcomes experienced by individuals randomized to professional and quasi-professional assistance, the investigators will discover whether and how lay individuals can deploy professional legal knowledge.

The project addresses important issues concerning the use of legal knowledge in a deprofessionalized environment. The investigators will disseminate their findings broadly, ensuring it is useful to relevant policymakers. The project will also contribute to the training of scholars in multi-disciplinary methods in the social sciences.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 592.25K | Year: 2012

Building on an infrastructure of student support assembled with the help of an NSF grant to assist students with disabilities, the University of Southern Maine is testing the effectiveness of scholarships in improving educational opportunities for students of STEM disciplines. The program awards scholarships to academically talented but financially needy incoming students, both first-year and transfer, to offset a large part of their unmet need. The students are supported through an intensive summer bridge program, a living and learning community, faculty and peer mentors, advisors, and tutors, along with seminars to foster strong study habits and career awareness. Opportunities for undergraduate research and co-operative internships further engage the students. The model thus developed is non-intrusive but comprehensive, using recruitment, retention, and placement to maximize the success of students, many of whom are of non-traditional age, first in their family to attend college, or otherwise underrepresented in the STEM workforce.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: ADVANCE - IT-START | Award Amount: 157.86K | Year: 2012

The University of Southern Maine is the only regional comprehensive university in the state, and situated in the most diverse region of the state. As a result of its commitment to creating a culture and environment for attaining and sustaining a diverse faculty population that reflects the community it serves, the Southern Maine ADVANCE IT Catalyst project will focus on a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative assessment of systemic institutional factors affecting recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in the STEM disciplines. Major activities include, but are not limited to: collecting and analyzing baseline data, collecting and reviewing information about best practices and lessons learned and developing a data-driven, evidence-based institutional transformational readiness plan to support women faculty. Results from this project are expected to yield sustained transformation that will positively impact the number of women faculty who could serve as role models to a growing population of non-traditional and female students, especially women veterans, and provide the institution with the necessary platform to serve as a model for other comprehensive universities that share some of the same unique characteristics.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ASSEMBLING THE TREE OF LIFE | Award Amount: 336.88K | Year: 2012

Darwins theory of evolution explained that millions of species are related, and dealt biologists and paleontologists the enormous challenge of discovering the branching pattern of the Tree of Life. Work on this great challenge is producing a map of species-relatedness through Earth history, and answering questions such as what is the closest relative of a species? and what species make important products? To do this scientists draw on all heritable features, including genotypes (e.g., DNA) and phenotypes (e.g., anatomy). Studying phenotypes, however, has remained complicated and slow, because it has not been revolutionized by computer science and engineering innovations.

A team of biologists, computer scientists, and paleontologists will extend and adapt methods from computer vision, machine learning, crowd-sourcing and natural language processing to enable rapid and automated study of phenotypes for the Tree of Life on a vast scale. The three-year goal is to release large phenomic datasets built using new methods, and to provide the public and scientific community with tools for future work. Planned is the training of teachers and students (kindergarten - postdoctoral levels) and the engagement of citizen scien-tists. Enormous phenomic datasets, many with images, will fill an important public interest in biodiversity and the fossil record.

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